ITG: Multiplier reports from Trebišov (18.11., 19.11.) and Bratislava (3.12.)

December 6, 2019

2019 was a year of many commemorations, as 1989 witnessed both the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and the fall of communism in the Eastern Bloc. Therefore, ITG’s planned its events around November 17, the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. On and around this day, there were numerous events in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and we decided to pilot the material we developed in this project through a series of workshops with both students and teachers. 

On November 18, we piloted one activity and two lesson plans with high school students in Trebišov, Slovakia, a small town in the southeastern part of the country. We designed the whole workshop to emphasize active learning, group work, and the development of analytical skills. We also contextualized and discussed civic engagement, elections, and the manifestation of ideologies in general to broaden their views and knowledge and to practice their newly gained skills. All the activities worked as smoothly as possible, and at the end we received very positive feedback. One student even came and told us that her future interests lie in biology, but that she would have reconsidered it if she knew that history could be taught like this, and she highly appreciated our workshop.

On November 19, we piloted one activity and two lesson plans with elementary and high school teachers in Trebišov, but with teachers from other towns and cities across East Slovakia. We wanted to have as many opinions and views as possible. We presented the activity and lesson plans with a focus on the flow, structure, and sources used. We then discussed their options for teaching and explored the transferability of concepts that are used in this project’s lesson plans into their teaching and their classrooms. We discussed whether these are adaptable methods for them, how they could proceed, and what would they need to teach this way. At the end of this workshop, there was an interesting thought about setting up a network where they can share ideas and practices. 

We then facilitated our last workshop on December 3 in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Indícia, an NGO with a good reach to teachers across Slovakia, provided us with their premises and their network. They assembled a diverse group of teachers with different experiences. We used the same workshop design as in Trebišov, but with slight changes. We presented one activity and two lesson plans and discussed how all the teachers teach on this era. How do they work with sources? Are these sources are usable for them? What are their views and opinions about the presented activity and lesson plans? Would they teach like this at their schools?

All three multiplier workshops had a longer time format and were demanding to facilitate, but they provided us with fine insights and inspirations to to work with. We think that we’ll use the data we collected to make slight adjustments to our educational materials, and the biggest thank you goes to all of our participants.